It’s hugely important to us that we find solutions to continue to be able to share outdoor events with our kids but it’s essential they move towards a more sustainable future.
Green Gathering Festival is leading the way with a few of our favourite family festivals and we absolutely love them for it. Thanks to all those working in events across the country who are making the effort.
Guest writer Polly popped along to Green Gathering 2019 to check it out…
We absolutely loved everything about Green Gathering.
A festival powered by wind, sun, people and passion, the Green Gathering is held on the Welsh border less than 20 miles from Bristol and is just perfect for families.
The site was beautiful and spacious, with plenty of trees dotted around, woodland walks and an incredible view across the River Severn which was particularly stunning at night.
There was a lot of space to roam and relax in, but also very easy to navigate & not get lost. It never felt crowded which meant our 10-year-old was able to enjoy a lot of freedom to explore the festival with her friend without us.
The children’s area was shady with live performances, plenty of crafts, art activities & circus skills – all of which were free to join in.
It spills out into the village green and there is also a great teens ages run by The Mayflower Project. The only thing we found to pay for in the kids’ area was the bungee trampoline which was £2 for 5mins.
The staff helped our daughter to do different flips and this ‘kid-powered’ ride was a fun addition for all ages.
We saw a walkabout troupe who were playing music and encouraging people to join in silly games like sock wrestling, which was great fun.
We enjoyed a good range of different large scale animal puppets and space themed walkabout sculptures plus several circus performers playing and performing around the whole festival site too.
Personal favourite entertainer for us was Steve Kaos on his ‘giraffe’ bike & bubble blower.
At 10 years old our daughter is keen to explore beyond the official ‘kid’s areas’ at festivals and Green Gathering offered a safe a nurturing environment for her to do so.
The teenage area offered great workshops, circus skills and a large outdoor chess game. It was well staffed and no alcohol was allowed in the area.
The whole family really enjoyed The Raconteurs’ Delight. This proved to be a great meeting point with friends and family. On Saturday morning our daughter went there on her own to learn swing dance with The Mud Flappers and do vocal gymnastics with Mal Webb, all for free. We liked the fact that these were open to all ages and all the crew and performers were always so welcoming.
Another highlight we marvelled at was Rainbow Gecko with their awesome bubble magic. Our daughter even ended up on stage and assisted a magician with a daring knife trick!
In the evening we enjoyed the vocal harmonies & fine feminist attitude of ‘Other Tongues’ plus the poetic mastery & humour of Johnny Fluffy Punk.
Our daughter was so inspired by his show on the Thursday that she signed up for the poetry slam (all ages) on Sunday morning. She wrote a selection of new poems, found a new outfit in the Permaculture Free Shop and ended up winning the slam!
We were so proud and this was the highlight of the weekend for her. She has been invited to next year’s festival and given a 20 minute slot to write and perform so this could be the start of her poetry career!
At night we made wishes in a fairy well and willow maze and had a fantastic disco dance in the pop-up parachute club which went on late for those that wanted it. We found good music in The Triban tent & laughed while playing a large version of Hungry Hippo’s in the dark.
There were other tents with music, talks & workshops that we didn’t get to explore and a wide range of music on offer – some wonderfully eclectic. We discovered our friend’s band The Don Bradmans were playing which we really enjoyed – twice!
Making and More
There were wonderful craft opportunities to try such as iron work, wood work, willow basketry and plenty more natural arts. The workshops were very reasonably priced around £15 for a good few hours creating your own masterpieces.
Our campsite neighbours’ children were really chuffed with the bamboo archery bows they’d made. Our daughter & her friend made a Green Gathering T-Shirt while learning Welsh for a donation. They also made a copper ring & pendant for a donation too.
There was a campaigns field where you could connect with people working for positive change politically and environmentally which I found really interesting plus a whole Permaculture Zone running free workshops throughout the day…all for free!
You really could spend the whole weekend immersed in insightful and thoughtful workshops if you wished. We left we some great ideas and it was encouraging to be around people striving to live better.
Food and facilitates
The food on offer a Green Gather was all vegetarian or vegan which suited us. We shared a delicious pizza for £5 and some curried snacks £3 and there were amazing Masala Dosas for £8.
We found it really easy to fill a water bottle on site with plenty of stops and as you’d expect, no single use plastic could be found. Organisers really have thought about sustainability and they also welcomed suggestions on future improvements.
There was an amazing cider bar and at around £4 per pint (plus £1 deposit on a pint glass) we enjoyed trying the selection on offer. We also found some great fair priced cocktails.
The majority of toilets were composting loos which were clean and well maintained.
The on-site recycling was the best we’ve ever seen at a festival and the site was kept spotless. This could be in part down to the people Green Gathering attracts but also to the amazing volunteers. We really didn’t see any litter all weekend.
There were no generators on-site which means it was very quiet and fume free throughout the day and especially so back at the camping areas. Entertainment stopped at 1am in the morning when it was really quite everywhere.
A huge thank you to everyone at the Green Gathering for showing that it’s possible to tread lightly on the earth’s resources and still have fun! We can’t wait to go back next year!
Tickets to Green Gathering 2020 are on sale now. If you are lucky enough to grab one of the early bird tickets they’re just £90. Kids 6-10 are £10 and under 5’s go free.